Belgian government paves way for ‘mobility budget’
The Belgian Council of Ministers has approved the ‘mobility budget’ preliminary draft but the project still has to pass thought the parliament. No words on its official enactment but the new measure will have to coexist with the principle of ‘cash for cars’, launched at the beginning of this year.
“It’s too soon to precisely inform on a date because the project still has to pass the Parliament, but we hope it will be voted before the end of 2018 and be put in place on January 1st 2019″, explains Roby Guns, press secretary to the Minister of Social Affairs, Maggie De Block (Open Vld). With many companies being critical about cash for cars and others thinking it only benefits bosses, this new project aims at offering more options.
More options for employees
The mobility budget is another option from the government to pull employees out of their company cars’ comfort zone. With this project, a budget corresponding to the total cost of the company car is given to employees who were benefiting from this particular advantage for at least 36 months.
They can use part or all of it on three options. First, they can exchange their company car for a smaller and greener one. Secondly, employees can buy some alternative sustainable means of transport, such as an electric bicycle. This would be totally tax-exempted. Thirdly, employees can collect the total budget and do what they please with it, but that amount will require a 38,07% social contribution.
The cash for cars system was introduced and voted by the federal government at the beginning of this year. It offers employees the possibility to abandon their company car and get cash in exchange. That sum can go up to 700 euro. But, for now, this measure hasn’t been a real success, with only 23 employees taking the step.
The new mobility budget offers more possibilities to employees than cash for cars, but if they decide to completely abandon their company car, they will be better choosing the latter option. In practice, the mobility budget is more taxed than cash for cars.
“Employers and employees will not have to pay a single cent. Thanks to this project, we’re broadening choices”, adds Maggie De Block. “We want to encourage employees to adopt a more sustainable model in combination with alternative means of transport.”